With all the general managers, coaches and scouts in attendance for the Senior Bowl, there is a lot of chatter going around. Here are some of the highlights from the rumor mill on Day 4.
Sources say that Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa is in play for the San Diego Chargers at the third-overall pick. Bosa isn't a great fit in a 3-4 defense, but the Chargers feel he is a versatile player whom they could move around. San Diego could move him around as a five-technique defensive end and a standup rush linebacker. Young edge rushers Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu played well in 2015, and the team is excited about their development, but adding a third pass-rusher and tough run-defender could appeal to San Diego as they need to improve their defense next season.
Obviously, the Rams are in search of a solution to the quarterback position this offseason and have other needs to address like wide receiver. Another potential hole to fill will be cornerback if Janoris Jenkins and/or Trumaine Johnson aren't re-signed. Jenkins will see a lot of interest from other teams, so retaining Jenkins isn't a slam-dunk for Los Angeles. The Rams will have E.J. Gaines coming back from an injury that cost him 2015, but if they lose both free agent cornerbacks that could put the position in play for their first-round pick. In speaking with Rams sources, they have a higher grade and preference for Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves over Florida State's Jalen Ramsey.
A cornerback whom some sources really like is Northern Iowa's Deondre' Hall. Scouts say they love his length and toughness. Hall is a physical corner who doesn't shy away from flying into the tackle box to make tackles. Every year, some small-school corners rise in the lead up to the draft to be second-day picks. Hall could be a prime candidate for that this year.
Colorado State wide receiver Rashard Higgins was one of the early entry players who probably should have gone back to school. Sources really like his route-running, reliable hands, and quickness to get open. Plus, Higgins was very productive the past two seasons. However, Higgins is very thin and sources say that is going to hurt his draft grade. If Higgins were thicker and heavier, he could be a second-round pick. Sources say that Higgins is probably more likely to go in the 3-5 range.
Two players who have not done well in the team interviews are Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence and Southern Utah's Miles Killebrew. Spence had off-the-field issues at Ohio State and Eastern Kentucky with a year long suspension, transfer, and arrest for public intoxication. Teams weren't impressed with how Spence answered their questions. They also said that Killebrew did not come off well in the interviews. Both players will need to get better in a hurry with the Combine and pre-draft visits just weeks away.
On Monday, we talked about how some teams were very critical about how Penn State head coach James Franklin handled quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Over the past few months, there have been media reports questioning Hackenberg as a teammate and suggesting he was disliked in the Penn State locker room. A few weeks back, we caught up with a former teammate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith. Smith who disputed those claims. This week, I spoke with Carl Nassib and asked him about the reports that Hackenberg was a bad teammate and disliked in the locker room. Nassib was stunned and his jaw hit he floor. He couldn't believe it. "Interesting, I had not heard that. Really?" said Nassib. "That is false. No. That is definitely speculation. Christian is a great player and a great teammate." Nassib is known as a high-character hard worker who was beloved by Franklin and former head coach Bill O'Brien. Thus, when Nassib responds in that fashion it carries some weight.
Everybody around the league expects the Denver Broncos to use the franchise tag on linebacker Von Miller, but if he somehow hits free agency, expect the Jaguars to make a big play for Miller. Jacksonville has a ton of money available and they badly need a difference-maker on the defensive side of the ball. If Miller isn't slapped with the tag, the Jaguars are willing to overpay to get him to come to Jacksonville.